Thank you Steve.
Truth be told, I have imagined this day in my mind for quite some time. Not because I was wishing for it, but because on some level, I was curious as to how I’d deal with it. I’ve thought about the death of my grandmother and my parents, but is it weird that I’ve also thought about the death of Steve Jobs? It’s no secret to my family and close friends that to me, he was more than the dude who created Apple. I wouldn’t even call him an inspiration. He was the reason. The reason I started a business at 23. The reason I believe in a cosmic consciousness. And the reason I continue to blindly push forward, and believe that I will be able to somehow connect the dots looking backward. It should then come as no surprise that when my friend texted me the tragic news, I was left dumbfounded. I was on a film set, and suddenly I was stuck in my chair and unable to speak. What do you even text back to that? Thankfully, our workday was almost over and I just needed to wrap and get out to my car. It was an awkward 20 minutes of hollow conversations that I simply did not care about, but I eventually made it to the parking lot. And as I drove home to write this, in a very private moment, I started to cry. I cried like I had lost a family member but it was almost somehow worse. I had lost my reason.
My first years out of college were heavy ones for me, having gone through a series of events that to this day I don't speak about with everyone. In the funk of depression and an intense period of self discovery, I became interested in the story of how Steve Jobs came to be Steve Jobs. I quickly realized that your dreams don’t simply show up if you work in your room and hope someone notices. Having a vision isn’t enough. You must be willing to create your own opportunities. Where I once saw life as a series of closed doors, suddenly they became unlocked. And even if the door is locked, you can pick the key. And if you can’t pick the key, break in through the window. And if you can’t get in through the window, well than jump down the fucking chimney. The point is that if you’re meant to be there, it doesn’t matter how you got in. What matters is what you do when you get there. As the man himself once said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
My first illustration I ever got published, was fittingly of Mr. Jobs himself back in 2006. I had done it on my own time and contacted a few local newspapers to see if they wanted to use it to accompany the story of the Disney/Pixar merger. Eventually the Contra Costa Times paid me $100 for use of the image in their Sunday paper. And just like that I became a professional illustrator. I was always proud of that piece, and I am still proud of how I got it out there. It was my first lesson in business and I've continued to push forward everyday since then.
Thank you Steve, for giving me courage when I most needed it, and for giving me the strength to believe in myself when I didn't even know I could. Like most men who didn't really know their fathers, you look for the strongest role model to take his place. You have forever changed me, and will always have a special place in my life.